Even though the Tales of the Cocktail is the main focus for most Tales visitors it just appropriately happens to be that the event is held in the place where the cocktail was born which is the world´s funniest city – or at least i think so….
There´s no shortage of things to do in New Orleans – in fact there´s so much happening all the time that you can`t do it all – just like it is at the Tales. I have noticed that there´s more people coming to the Tales now who stays a little bit longer – either before or after the Tales and i have got a few inquiries as to where to eat and what more you can do – so with this post i wanna give some tips…
Most people who come to New Orleans knows that you can eat and drink good – the food is among the best on this planet – and the music and culture just the same – as unique as the food. If you have a chance to stay a little bit longer than just one week during the Tales here`s a few places to go and things to do – i have already recommended food and restaurants in this city – but here are a few more:
Fried shrimp and fried shrimp and oyster combo poboys.
Crispy fried oysters…
This seafood gumbo was so goood….
Yep, this is my favorite place to eat (at large) the food is GOOD and they serve enourmous portions…and i guarantee you`ll be satisfied. It also helps that it´s in french quarter since that´s where Tales also is.
Favorite dishes from Coop´s for me is among other things the fried shrimp poboy…you get A LOT of shrimps and they are fried to perfection…the crispy oyster poboy is great too. Then we have the Chicken Tchoupitoulas with tasso…it´s smoky…and soooo goood – they are also known for their Jambalaya Supreme which is good too.
Also i love their seafood gumbo…i could go on…but do yourself a favor and go there the next time you go to Tales unless you already love this place…then i know you`ll definetily be back.
Coop`s Place is located on 1109 Decatur street next to Molly’s at the Market - a great place to have a beer or two.
PARKWAY FOR POBOYS
Yep, that´s one of the best spots for poboy´s, especially their roast beef poboy, but i also like the shrimp – as usual. Parkway Bakery and Tavern is located in mid-city - 538 Hagan Avenue – at the corner of Hagan and Toulouse overlooking Bayou St. John in Mid-City New Orleans. It`s one of those local places i just love, it´s just where to go for a poboy..
CLOVER GRILL This is a hole in the wall place on the lower Bourbon st and it´s THE place to go for a late breakfast around 5 am… i especially enjoy their grits, omelette and tator tats (oh my..). The place is very down to earth, easy, simple and enjoyable.
Deanie`s in Bucktown.
Fried catfish and oysters.
Abita amber served in a huge goblet…well THAT was something!
Deanie´s Seafood has been serving seafood in New Orleans since 50 years and is a classic. The original restaurant is located in Bucktown but now there´s one also in the French Quarter. We went to the one in Bucktown and had a LARGE portion of crispy fried seafood and with that they serve the abita beer in HUGE goblets…
You get the amount of two beers in one…and somehow served like that in large goblets – it just tastes better that way…and if you`re an abita beer freak like me you`re in heaven.
Talking about abita beer…i went to the brewery and the restaurant located beside it.
To get to Abita Springs you need to drive over the causeway – the bridge over the enourmous lake Pontchartrain – it takes about 30 min and it´s like you`re in the middle of the ocean, no land in sight.
The brewery tour is short but it´s interesting still but the best thing is the beer on tap tasting, you can drink as much as you want. When i was there they had a new brew to try – Roggen Weizen – a VERY tasty brew, a bit on the bitter side, just the way i like it.
Draft beers to try out as much as you like to drink at the brewery tour.
I`m an abita beer addict – i told ya already before in this post about abita and how it´s made. The restaurant They also have a very fun souvenir shop, the only bad thing there is that they do not take any cash…and since i didn`t carry any card with me i wasn`t able to buy anything, i wish they would change that.
But what we also did was visiting the Brew Pub to eat and have some beer of course…the menu offers all kinds of yummy things, i finally took the “Andygator Crawfish Cake served with fried Tomatoes and topped with Turbodog Remoulade sauce…. and yep it was as good as it sounds! washed down with some abita strawberry beer…
I also had some AMAZING boudin balls!
The Brewery Pub is a very nice place to sit and eat and have a beer or two, it´s very laid back and relaxed and there´s a LOT of things to look at – all from a giant Fleur de Lis Saints wreath to all sorts of Saints and Abita memorabilia plus all funny signs on the walls.
It´s that kinda place you feel right at home at.
This place is a good alternative if the queue to Acme on the other side is too long and too long it often is…so we went to Felix`s. Last year i had a great plate of blackened gator washed down with a cold abita but this time they were out of gator and had also lost their alcohol license…for what reason i don`t know.
So we got the charbroiled oysters instead. They were not bad at all even though they won´t reach as high as what you get at Drago`s and Acme. But heck…i was happy – because charbroiled oysters is to me the best thing you can eat on the entire planet.
Felix´s restaurant and Oyster bar you find on 739 Iberville Street.
But don`t forget the street food…for example at the french market there are some things to explore, one of my favorites there is the gator on a stick which is a very spicy gator sausage on a stick, so yummy and it´s only 5 bucks for one.
If you love italian ice cream and desserts…look no further – this is where to go. Brocato´s is located in mid-city on Carrollton ave. You can take the red streetcars to get there, either Cemetries or City Park and get off at Wahlgreens at the corner of Canal and Carollton, takes about 15 min from Canal st, then turn right and walk up Carrollton until you see Brocato`s on the right side, it`s a 5-10 min walk or so.
Here´s a nice little place in the riverbend – to me it was a convenient place to go since i part of my time lived nearby on Maple street and besides Cooter Brown´s there´s the Camellia Grill just around the corner.
Cooter Brown’s Tavern & Oyster Bar is located on 509 S. Carrollton Ave at the riverbend, you can get there easily with the oh so lovely St Charles streetcar. Here you can get raw oysters from the Oyster Bar, or boiled crawfish (when in season) boiled shrimp, poboys, and seafood. We had the raw oysters…
Gator on a stick – is a very spicy yummy alligator sausage threaded on a stick, the perfect snack! do have a cold snowball after and you`re set.
Fresh seafood off da boat! i love the way they write the signs, simple and colorful.
Softshell crab poboy from Katie´s at the Satchmo summerfest….a REAL yummy little appetizer!
Don´t forget to sample some streetfood too – even though there`s so many good restaurants – i`d recommend a tour to the french market for a little something…like for example gator on a stick, The french market – it IS touristic and not what it used to be – but the gator on a stick is GOOD! Also if you can go to the Satchmo fest you can sample some good festival food – this years fried softshell crab poboys from Katie´s were some real little yummy treats – i was already thinking about when to get a next one only half way through the first one….yep it was THAT good….and washed down with some cold abita beers in the almost 104 degree heat was just hands down awesome.
The Satchmo summerfest is something i can really recommend – celebrate Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong with some GOOD music! and the funniest 2nd line i been to so far.
Yep, there´s no shortage things to do and great of restaurants in New Orleans and there´s something for everyone and definetily more than you can eat… But what else to do? wanna do something different? – apart from going to events that´s happening, live music clubs etc or taking in the city´s original and amazing architecture you can also for example – take a gondola ride in the City Park…
Here`s for a different experience… Nola Gondola is operated by one of my good friends in the city – Terry Dula, who brought a gondola including the whole kit from the striped pole to the shirt, hat AND the italian music..all the way from Venice, italy…
He´s a certified gondolier as well – the only one in Nola i´m sure. The tour takes you through the beautiful waters in the City Park…it´s breathtaking. During the tour you go under very low bridges and it´s as romantic as can be.
So naturally many of the customers are for wedding proposals – but there´s all kinds of people going and for example one is ex Saints player Steve Gleason – if you are a Saints fan like me you know who he is…
The tour is beautiful, romantic and peaceful and if you wanna experince something different and something to remember – this is it. Also under one of the bridges people writes their names and of course i wrote mine…not forgetting to represent the Who Dat Nation:-)
You can check out Terry`s website here.
The beautiful city park in the sunset and the bridge under where people writes their names.
Shopping – there´s a lot of fun little shops around in the French quarter and on Magazine st for example. A lot of the tourist shops DOES have some fun things…even though many of the spices and stuff are much more expensive than they are at say Winn Dixie. For food i prefer Rouses because they have a good selection and they are very supportive and helpful to the community and city.
But there´s fun little shops to explore…like Serendiptious Masks for example – on decatur street – that little shop is full of fun carnival masks and things and from the roof hangs second line parasols for various occasions. These parasols also makes beautiful and fun room decorations when not in use in some parade or party.
Beautiful 2nd line parasols hanging in the roof.
Venetian style carnival mask.
Handmade carnival feather masks.
A few of my favorite bars in Nola includes French 75, Cure, Carousel Bar and Bar Tonique – all which serves great crafted and inventive cocktails as well as classics and there are more but we didn´t have the time to get to all we wanted as usual…especially seen to all the events during Tales that we went to which includes many cocktails… It´s just too much of everything in Nola and you just can`t do it all – you need to go back!
Arnaud`s French 75 Bar, one of my favorite bars in New Orleans and a place i always go back to for fabulous well crafted cocktails expertly prepared by Chris Hannah and Hadi Ktiri.
Photography Ken Stock